DEAR MAYO CLINIC: As the result of a sports injury, my 16-year-old daughter has chronic pain that has lasted for more than a year. It is really taking a toll on her. The pain makes it hard for her to go to school and to do the activities she enjoys. Medication doesn’t make much difference. What can we do? Is there a chance the pain will go away with time?
ANSWER: Your daughter’s pain may fade over time. While she has pain, though, it is important for her to find ways to manage it. A cure may not be possible, but there are many strategies that can help her get back into life.
Pain usually comes from illness, injury or surgery, and it goes away as our bodies heal. This type of pain is called acute pain. Chronic pain is different. It is generally defined as daily pain that lasts more than three months. Chronic pain may continue after an injury or illness has passed. It may come from a medical condition that is hard to treat. Sometimes chronic pain may not have any clear source.